Lieutenant General Michael Flynn has emerged as Donald Trump’s leading candidate for national security adviser, according to people familiar with the president-elect’s transition planning.That's from National Review. ABC News at one point said this was a done deal, then backtracked a bit:
Misfire? ABC's @GMA tweeted that Trump "announces Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his National Security Advisor," then deleted it. No announcement— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 17, 2016
Much of the discussion of Flynn has focused on his cozy relationship with the Russians and his lobbying for the Turkish government. But let's not lose sight of the fact that he wants America to fight a whole lot of wars, against a global array of enemies he believes are all in cahoots. Here's a New York Post op-ed he wrote this past summer:
We’re in a global war, facing an enemy alliance that runs from Pyongyang, North Korea, to Havana, Cuba, and Caracas, Venezuela. Along the way, the alliance picks up radical Muslim countries and organizations such as Iran, al Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamic State.As Daniel Larison wrote:
That’s a formidable coalition, and nobody should be shocked to discover that we are losing the war.
If our leaders were interested in winning, they would have to design a strategy to destroy this global enemy. But they don’t see the global war. Instead, they timidly nibble around the edges of the battlefields from Africa to the Middle East, and act as if each fight, whether in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Libya or Afghanistan, can be peacefully resolved by diplomatic effort....
I believe we can and must win. This war must be waged both militarily and politically; we have to destroy the enemy armies and combat enemy doctrines....
As we defeat them on the ground, we must clearly and forcefully attack their crazy doctrines. Defeat on battlefields does great damage to their claim to be acting as agents of divine will. After defeating al Qaeda in Iraq, we should have challenged the Islamic world and asked: “How did we win? Did Allah change sides?”
We need to denounce them as false prophets, as we insist on the superiority of our own political vision.
To be blunt, a group of states that includes Cuba and Venezuela is the opposite of formidable.... North Korea is a horrible and dangerous regime on its own, but it isn’t part of some “global war” effort. Iran isn’t in league with Al Qaeda or ISIS. On the contrary, Iran actively fights against both in Syria. Flynn’s “analysis” amounts to taking every adversarial state and group around the world and pretending that they are all linked together when the connections between them are either tenuous or non-existent. It is an ideological fantasy substituting for analysis....And after ou r glorious victories, we're supposed to lord it over these countries and tell them that their belief systems are inferior and ours are superior -- because that always goes over well, right?
Flynn’s specific recommendations seem to involve endless warfare against what he calls the “the terror armies, above all in the Middle East and Libya,” which would commit the U.S. to an unknown number of conflicts for the foreseeable future that would only be concluded when we “win.” In other words, Flynn offers a recipe for perpetual war in predominantly Muslim countries, and if we take his rhetoric about the “enemy coalition” seriously he may be talking about waging wars in other parts of the world as well. His willingness to blur distinctions between disparate and mutually hostile groups suggests that the U.S. would find itself fighting multiple enemies at the same time.
I'm reading this as I'm being told by Ross Douthat that "Trump campaigned as a critic of the Iraq war and neoconservatism, as a man ... less inclined to unleash wars of choice than his liberal interventionist opponent." No, he didn't. He campaigned as an after-the-fact Iraq War critic who would have expropriated Iraq's oil, and who wants to "bomb the shit out of ISIS" while torturing terrorists and their families. If you ever believed that Trump is a war skeptic, you're an idiot. Trump has never been against war -- he's against wars that make him, as an American, personally feel like a loser.
Now he's probably going to be advised by a guy with an even bigger Axis of Evil than George W. Bush's, and a desire for overlapping wars. There will be blood, folks.